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Historic stones uncovered in area field

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is another article on Findlay area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of the Courier.

That Gen. William Hull’s Fort Necessity in the extreme southern area of Madison Township, just over the Hancock-Hardin county line, is going to “live again,” prompted a reminder that the war of 1812 fort was in the news just a half century ago.

In 1921, just a half century ago, and 109 years after the fort was constructed in the 19th century, some stones were turned up on the site of the old fort that excited quite a bit of interest because they appeared to have had some connection with the Hull army’s historic journey through this part of Ohio.

One of the stones bore the capital initials “A.E.I.” and another the year “1747.” It was surmised at the time of their discovery that they were crude gravestones over the burial place of General Hull’s officers, who died while the army was encamped there. The stones were taken to Arlington and exhibited in a hardware store there for some time.

William Tombaugh was plowing a field when he turned up the stones, which were encrusted with dirt. He laid them along a fencerow, and later on after rains had washed off the accumulation of earth he saw the rough lettering. The stones were not far below the surface of the ground, he told Joseph Worst, the owner of the land.

The stones, it was believed, came from the bed of nearby Eagle Creek. The field where the stones were uncovered had never been plowed up before.

The announcement of a few months ago said Louis and Ed Galitza, of “Ghost Town” just south of Findlay, had bought the 40-acre farm of Frank and Catherine Worst for transformation into an area of historic significance centering around a reconstruction of the Hull fort, and including a pioneer community setting, to give Hancock County two historical regions south of Findlay.

“Fort Necessity” seems to have two names. One was “Mud Fort,” but the former appears to have been the generally accepted designation.

The “Fort Necessity” name came from the fact that Hull’s army found the overland traveling difficult because of heavy rains, and had to settle down in the southern Hancock County region for a brief stay, later pushing on to Findlay, where Fort Findlay was built on the banks of the Blanchard River. The “Mud Fort” name had its derivation from the condition of the land, too. The “Fort Necessity” name went into the government records as the official name of the stopping place.

A FINDLAY LEADER who was active in business and industrial affairs here for many years was John A. Scott. His home at 500 W. Sandusky St. has long been one of the community’s distinctive dwellings.

Mr. Scott entered business in 1878 in Findlay and continued to reside here until around 1920, when he moved to California. He was in the wholesale liquor business, with headquarters in the Marvin block, just across from the courthouse.

During the oil and gas boom days in the late 1880s and early 1890s, Mr. Scott was a civic leader who helped locate and establish various manufacturing businesses here. He was an official of some of them. He helped locate the Peerless Refining Co.’s oil refinery here on the site now occupied by the Ashland refinery and was active in the management for a time. He was vice president of the American Nail and Machinery Co., an early manufacturing plant in Findlay. He served as a director of one of the Findlay banks.

Mr. Scott had two sons, Lester and Howard. Both became officials of the old Ohio Paint and Varnish Co., which was located at 432 E. Main Cross St. The company specialized in roofing and bridge paints. Lester Scott was president and Howard Scott secretary and treasurer. Later, Lester Scott joined Harry W. Moore in the Morescot clothing house here.

Mr. Scott, the father, died in October 1933 in California and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.

In addition to his Findlay interests, the father also was the owner of the Pleasant Valley Distillery in Owen County, Kentucky.

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